What I Love to See

Powerful effect

I love to see a well-used Bible—worn cover, key passages marked, and with lots of hand-written notes in the margins.

Even more so, I love to see believers whose lives are shaped by the Scriptures. They not only know the Bible, but far more important, they live it.

This is exactly what God intends (James 1:21-25).

God’s word is a guiding light (Psalm 119:105), nourishing food (Matthew 4:4; 1 Peter 2:2), and a sharp-two edged sword that pierces to the very core of our being (Hebrews 4:12).

Powerful Cause

When applied, the Scriptures can transform vile sinners of all stripes into those whose lives reflect the Christ they now serve (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

How can the Bible’s transforming power be explained in any other way than by its divine origin?

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A Better Way to Live

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My friend and I have been cleaning up an area where someone dumped a mattress, gas grill, carpet, ceiling fan, recliner, old boards, trash, etc.

What does the Bible say?

“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you . . .” (Matthew 7:12). “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39).

People who live by these principles, called the Golden Rule and the Second Commandment, not only refrain from littering and dumping, but also from lying, cheating, stealing, gossiping, and a host of other selfish, anti-social behaviors.

Positively, these principles promote compassion, kindness, sharing, honesty, courtesy, respect, and countless other qualities that contribute to a better world.

What does the Bible do?

The Bible, when applied, not only points us to heaven, but also transforms society—one person at a time.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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The Question

Jesus’ challenge

On several occasions in interacting with the hostile chief priests, scribes, elders, Pharisees, or Sadducees, Jesus countered them with this question: “Have you not read…?” or “Have you never read…?” (Matthew 12:3, 5; 19:4; 21:16, 42; 22:31).

In each case He referred them to a specific teaching in their Scriptures (the Old Testament).

From this we may conclude….

Jesus placed tremendous importance on the Scriptures as the authoritative word of God.

Jesus expected people to be familiar with the Scriptures.

He demonstrated that religious error should be challenged by the Scriptures.

Why would it be any different today?

“Have you not read…?”

Good question!

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Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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Does It Make Any Difference?

Open to amendment?

If we don’t try to go exactly by the Bible in our worship, beliefs, and conduct, but we use the Scriptures as our general guideline, isn’t that sufficient?

God told Noah to make the ark 450’ long. What if Noah reasoned that a few feet shorter or longer surely wouldn’t matter? However, “Noah did according to all that the LORD had commanded him” (Genesis 7:5).

Willing to follow directions?

Saul claimed to obey, yet made whatever changes he wished. God rejected him (1 Samuel 10:8; 13:8-14; 15:1-28).

If Saul didn’t get away with it, will we?

If we truly want to please God, would we even consider making substitutions, revisions, or additions to His word?

“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments . . .” (1 John 5:3).

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Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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Did It Really Happen?

Fiction or non-fiction?

Noah and the ark. David and Goliath. Daniel in the lion’s den. Jesus in the manger.

Bible stories.

And then there are fairy tales. Jack and the beanstalk. Little Red Riding Hood. Goldilocks and the three bears.

How do these differ from Bible stories? It’s the difference between fanciful and factual.

As someone has observed, fairy tales begin, “Once upon a time . . . .”

Geographical and historical

Each biblical event actually occurred at a specific location and on a particular date.

The Bible is history. Archaeology continues to confirm the biblical narrative.

But the Bible is not mere history. It’s a record of what God did in history.

The Bible appeals to our hearts and offers us salvation through Christ.

The Bible is true (Luke 1:1-4; 2 Peter 1:16-19).

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More Than a Book

Handing the book through the opening in the wall, she told which prisoner it was for and explained, “It’s just a Bible.”

The jailer quickly leafed through it. It passed inspection.

What became of that Bible?

Was the inmate’s life changed by it? Once he got out, did it help him stay out?

That Bible contained no illegal drugs, but like a legitimate prescription it has the power to heal—if taken as directed (James 1:21).

And though it contained no concealed weapon, the message inside “is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword . . .” (Hebrews 4:12).

What might the Bible do for us?

The Bible can convict not only the convict in his cell, but all the rest of us as well.

What other book has such power to transform lives—from the inside out?

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Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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Expanding Our Horizons

Focused seeing

Years ago Reader’s Digest carried an article by a woman whose family decided to make a game of looking for Volkswagen bugs. They were amazed by how many they found.

It’s fascinating the way the mind works. By focusing on certain things in our environment we tend to find them.

If we start counting our blessings, how many will we find?

More than meets the eye

Many blessings are disguised as problems.

Have you gone through a horrible experience, later to view it as a great blessing?

New spiritual vistas open up to us when we view life through the telescopic lens of God’s Word (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).

The complainer doesn’t see, nor the discontented, the embittered, the ingrate.

I want to see!!!

Don’t you?

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